POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge Town Board is looking into the possibility of converting some of its police cars to propane hybrids as part of an alternative fuel pilot program.
“Dick Lyman is the catalyst behind this idea, and he has reached out to the Paraco Gas Co., which provides propane service in this area,” said Supervisor Gary Warshauer, referring to Town Board member Lyman.
Paraco has partnered with a group that does the conversions, and the converted police cars would run on both propane and regular gas, Warshauer said.
Initially, four Pound Ridge police cars would be converted. Other town vehicles would be considered further down the road should the pilot program prove successful.
“We would look at other vehicles, but this works as a sort of dual fuel with regular gas, not with diesel, so we wouldn’t be able to convert the Highway Department’s larger trucks for now – although they are working on that,” Warshauer said. “Right now, the goal is to start with four and go through a full year and see what our experience is.”
Warshauer said the program is part of the town’s desire to become more environmentally friendly.
“Propane runs cleaner and it is less expensive,” he said.
Warshauer said a propane distribution point would have to be established by Paraco at the Highway Department for the project to move forward.
The exact cost of it all is still not clear. The agreements need to be worked out, and insurance issues need to be examined. Warshauer said the town may be able to get some grant money to help pay for it.
“The costs are being worked out, and those final numbers will come back to us,” Warshauer said. “It should be around a few thousand dollars for each conversion – we are not talking about huge numbers. There are some costs associated with setting up the distribution system. Paraco would provide the tanks, and the town would provide electrical. We don’t know what that would cost. We are trying to figure that out. We have to get specs on the distribution system to get some numbers on that.
“We are hoping to get energy-related grants to pay for it,” Warshauer continued. “Police Chief Dave Ryan is confident about getting some grants. He’s pretty good at that.”
Warshauer said that while the town is not ready to sign off on the project just yet, officials are intrigued and continue to gather more data.
“We are moving forward but we need to look at the lease agreements with fuel dispensers and the cost of converting the cars,” he said. “Once it's all submitted, we will review it and bring it up at the next meeting. But we are very enthusiastic about it, and Chief Ryan is enthusiastic about having the four police cars as part of the pilot program.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.